Tag: Jerel

Scottish hermit rescued from remote forest will be desperate to return toScottish hermit rescued from remote forest will be desperate to return to

A hermit who was rescued from a remote forest in the Highlands, after his distress signal was picked up in Texas, will be desperate to return to the cabin he built himself as soon as he can, according to friends.Ken Smith, who is in his 70s, retreated from mainstream life decades ago to live deep in the woods on a millionaire’s Highland estate.He has no running water or electricity in the log cabin, but a stream runs beside it and he bathes by lighting a fire under an outdoor bath.He built his simple home, which has a gravel floor, in the mid-1980s near a remote loch east of Fort William, on an estate owned by a millionaire laird.Mr Smith was described by those who know him as a man who just happened not to like cities or normal life.Local residents said he had no radio, but does take photographs, while his only other concession to modern technology is the personal locator beacon which saved his life on Sunday when he became ill.He presses a button on it every week to let his family know he is okay, but last weekend he pressed the emergency button which led to a signal being picked up in Houston, Texas, and passed to the Coastguard in the UK. A Coastguard helicopter then flew in members of Lochaber Mountain Rescue and he was airlifted to Belford Hospital in Fort William where he was in “stable” condition yesterday, and said he “wants to be left alone”. Roger Millard who is the nearest neighbour to Ken "The Hermit" Smith Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Roger Millard, a retired haulier, said that once every fortnight Mr Smith, originally from the Derby area, would walk three miles to a single track road and another three miles to the nearest main road before hitch hiking to Fort William to buy supplies. He would then return with a “very heavy pack” and retreat to the hills.He added: “He’s a very private person, her doesn’t like cities and doesn’t like to be surrounded by people. He had an operation for cancer several years ago and came to stay with us while he was recuperating, but he was always keen to get back to the woods.“I came here 15 years ago and I used to work with him as ghillie during the deer stalking season on the neighbouring estate. I don’t think he’s worked for quite some time, but he does go out to pick up his pension.”Mr Smith has a wood burning stove, fishes for trout, and makes his own beer and wine, which, according to Mr Millard, “would make your legs wobble.” Kenny Cameron, who has known Mr Smith for many years, said local residents always offer him a lift if they see him on the road.He added: “His life has been very nomadic, he did the same in Canada, he had a log cabin in the woods there. He’s an interesting man with lots of stories.”We were out on the hill once and we thought we would go by boat to see him, but he’s still very difficult to find.”A member of staff at the nearest pub to the cabin, around 12 miles away, said he would drop in for a drink on his way home from his shopping trips, adding: “He has white hair and piercing blue eyes. He’s quite a character.” Roger Millard used to work with Mr SmithCredit:Peter Jolly read more